After three of their first four games after the All-Star break amidst what should be a soft stretch in the schedule, the Chicago Cubs are poised to sell at the deadline for a third straight year. They have a lot of valuable pieces that teams should be eyeing over the next couple of weeks including ace pitcher Marcus Stroman. On the position side, however, Cody Bellinger is going to draw a lot of attention.
Bellinger has, for the most part, been back to his old ways ever since coming to the North Side. On the year, he has a .305/.360/.524 slash line in 62 games. That's good for a 136 wRC+ which would be the third-best mark of his career. Crucially, he's done it all while cutting back on strikeouts with only a 17.6% strikeout rate. His value should be especially high now, considering he's in the midst of a wild July with an almost comical slash line of .449/.481/.796. On top of that, his center-field defense is still excellent with 4 outs above average on the year.
He's been a dream come true for the Cubs and one who should things miraculously change, would be an excellent piece to have around long term. It's more likely, however, that he departs for greener pastures at the end of the month. Here are three of the best fits the team could find in a trade for the star outfielder.
#1: New York Yankees
However you feel about them, there's no arguing that the Bronx Bombers are a perfect match when it comes to a Bellinger trade. Sitting in last place in the American League East despite being 50-45, they're looking for that piece that could jump-start their offense. That could certainly be Bellinger who'd be a clear outfield upgrade for them while playing perfectly to the confines of Yankee Stadium with the short porch in right field.
The Cubs and Yankees have made stellar trade partners of late too, swapping Scott Effross and Hayden Wesneski just last year along with Anthony Rizzo and Kevin Alcantara the year prior. They still have a solid overall farm system too that could create an enticing return for Jed Hoyer should they seal the deal, albeit not an impact prospect. Names like Will Warren and Yoendrys Gómez represent the types of solid arms that are also close to the majors and could help this team sooner rather than three years down the road.